Sometimes people simply refuse to convert. I moved to Texas in 2000 as a Pittsburgh Steeler fan (since around 1973). I’m still one today. I could live in the Jerry Dome and I would not convert!
I arrived a Spurs fan, thanks to David Robinson and Tim Duncan. I’ve simply added tee shirts, attended games, and learned more about the team to know that the Spurs are the best team in the NBA, no matter what happens on the court! Conversion leads to actions.
How did a first century Christian grow in her faith? How were new converts taught to obey Jesus? Consider that they had no printed Bibles. The New Testament was still being written. There were no Operation Timothy workbooks or Navigator’s manuals. No one had yet thought of a plan to read the Bible in a year. It wouldn’t have mattered, most early Christians couldn’t read!
The second mark of a model church is it will give ample evidence of God’s election. The inspired Scripture reads, “knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice (or election) of you” (I Thess. 1:4).
The doctrine of divine election or God’s sovereignty in salvation might be new or confusing to some of my readers. Some have incorrectly viewed it as God’s choice of sinners based on the condition of their foreseen faith. Others have erroneously assumed that all individuals are elect but only some believe.
Celebrated Danish painter and sculptor Peter Brandes said this about colors: “Blue, yellow and red – those are the letters. They’re like alpha and beta in the Bible: they are the beginning of everything. I could go on and make any language with those colors.”
In like manner, if we were painting a portrait of a model church, we should start with the three primary colors of faith, love, and hope according to Paul in I Thess. 1:3-10.
What Happens When We Die?
Who am I? Where did I come from? What is my purpose for existence and where am I headed? These are the ultimate questions mankind has pondered for our entire history on this planet. Deep in our souls these questions reverberate into the night. Poets and pundits, sages and songwriters, gurus and grandmas all ponder these at some point.
But how do we know what we know? Who or what is your final authority in answering these queries? What should you believe and how should you behave? Or is there even a standard?
I have fallen in love … with First Thessalonians! I’m preaching through this letter for our church and thought you might also enjoy some of its riches. There is so much more here than I imagined! We begin today where Paul began, the topic of a model church. Are you in one?
Unless otherwise noted, all posts are written by Pastor Chris McKnight